Frozen Witness
1.02.2005 - 31.03.2005
Evgeny Yufit
In Leningrad in 1983 Yevgeny Yufit founded the art movement Nercrorealism, which can be considered a continuation of the medieval tradition Ars Moriendi.

However, Yufit has always approached death through life – he has never worked with the actual dead. Contrary to legend and myth, Yufit never filmed corpses, though his living characters do behave as though they were dead. Because of this his characters are often associated with the heroes of the classic film ‘Night of the Living Dead’ by George Romero. However, Yufit’s heroes are not zombies, not rejuvenated dead people, but real characters, living in a kind of border zone, with an unclear identity.
In monochrome photographs Eugene Yufit forms death-images which emerge on the boundary between pathos and pathology, going beyond routine autism and ecstatic anticipation of death. The attention to detail, shooting in abandoned areas, the meditative narration and the avoidance of interpretation – all of these features of Yufit’s films have allowed critics to compare his work to that of Andrei Tarkovsky.
Since the late 1980s, Evgeny has worked with two cameras: 16mm and 35mm, the first used especially for photos. From the thousands of resulting images he chooses one, enlarges it, breaks it into fragments, and sometimes turns it, changing the horizontal and vertical axes, top to bottom. The artist aims to show the invisible game of light and shadow with a strange ‘hanging’ position of the characters. He is a witness. Like the title of one of his photographs, he is a ‘frozen witness’. A witness because the interaction of film-photoeye create a fact of reality. Frozen because the photographs always remain in the past. Appearing on the border between life and death, Yufit’s photos demonstrate the process of the deconstruction of form. The artist achieves this effect through repeated transfers of a black and white image from the negative to the positive.
It could be said that the photos Yufit takes while his camerman is shooting follow in the tracks of his films. The photographs are perceived as ‘fixed cinema’, while at the same time Yufit’s films fall under the category of ‘photographic series.’
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